The right-hander, who underwent reconstructive surgery on his right elbow last August, was removed from the 60-day disabled list Sunday and optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
If Tomlin stays on track, it is likely that he will be promoted as an option in the rotation or bullpen when rosters expand in September.
In eight minor league rehab appearances covering 17 1/3 innings, Tomlin has posted a 2.08 ERA with 12 strikeouts. His most recent outing came with the Clippers — three runs on seven hits over five innings.
A staple of Cleveland’s rotation since the end of the 2010 season, Tomlin posted a 5-8 record and 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances (16 starts) before injury struck in 2012. His last appearance in the majors came Aug. 12 of last year against the Red Sox.
Both Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis came through for a special fan Friday night.
Eight-year-old Niko Lanzarotta, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at eight months, met the two Indians players along with his parents prior to Friday’s game and asked them both to hit home runs for him.
Santana, Lanzarotta’s favorite player, and Kipnis obliged, each hitting two-run homers to power a 7-2 victory over the Twins.
“It was the best day of his life,” Niko’s father Mike Lanzarotta told the Indians. “To meet Carlos, to be that close, and for him to hit a home run. To see your kid that happy is a great thing.”
Lonnie Chisenhall was hot upon his arrival back in the big leagues, but the third baseman is slumping again.
He entered Sunday batting just .140 (7-for-50) with a home run and three RBIs in 18 August games. Since his promotion from the minors on June 18, Chisenhall was hitting a paltry .226 through Saturday with four homers and 17 RBIs in 48 games. He was .221 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 74 games through Saturday.
The Indians are off today before hitting the road for six games against Atlanta and Detroit. They open a three-game series against the Braves tonight at 7:10.
Danny Salazar (1-1, 3.52 ERA) starts for Cleveland in the opener, while Atlanta counters with LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 2.50).
Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.50) goes for the Indians on Wednesday (7:10 p.m.) against LHP Paul Maholm (9-10, 4.51), with Ubaldo Jimenez (9-8, 3.95) starting for Cleveland in the series finale Thursday (7:10 p.m.) against RHP Kris Medlen (10-12, 3.74).
The Indians’ next nine games come against teams with winning records — Braves, Tigers and Orioles.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer allowed three runs on five hits and struck out eight over 5 1/3 innings of Columbus’ 4-3 win over Gwinnett on Saturday. Bauer is 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 21 starts for the Clippers.
Jason Kipnis entered Sunday batting .426 (23-for-54) with four homers and 20 RBIs in 14 games against Minnesota this season. His RBI count was tied for the most against an opponent this year — Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera driving in the same number against the Indians. … Cleveland owned a 27-17 record in day games through Saturday, which ranked third in the majors. The Indians had won 11 of 12 games entering the series finale with the Twins on Sunday. … Jason Giambi is two hits shy of 2,000 for his career.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @CAwesomeheimer.